Sunday, 26 February 2012

Intermission - Oscars 2012: who'll win; who should...

Yes, it's the obligatory Academy Awards post - but how many other folks will audit their predictions after the fact, eh? Aha! So it was worth having a look...

The big story, I suppose, is the raft of 11 nominations for Hugo, an entirely underwhelming movie. Oddly, it no longer seems remarkable that a black and white silent film (and a French production to boot) should have received  ten nominations. The almost complete absence of both Drive and We Need to Talk about Kevin seems strange to me too. Anyway, let’s plough into it. Rather than listing the nominations for each category (have a look at the BBC website, they list them there), I’ll simply note who I think will win, who should win (of the nominees), who shouldn’t and who should’ve been nominated

(N.B. where I lack the expertise, either because of the category or because I haven't seen enough of the films - at least three of the multiple-nominee-recipients are yet to be released here - I might just make the prediction)


Who’ll win – My money is still on The Artist to take down the big one.
Who should – I’d personally like to see The Artist win, though I wouldn’t begrudge War Horse either.
Who shouldn’t – I’m not sharing the love for Hugo. While not a bad film by any means, it isn’t Oscar-worthy
Not nominated – My top pick of 2011 was Melancholia, but I also feel that Drive should’ve been in with a shout


Who’ll win – Scorsese. This’ll be Hugo’s major gong, I think.
Who should – Of those nominated, Hasanavicius. 
Who shouldn’t – Sorry, but it’s Scorsese. A great director indeed, but this is not a great film. Also, I've never been convinced by Malick, and The Tree of Life - while undeniably beautiful and well-performed - was a load of pseudo-spiritual claptrap.
Not nominated – Lars von Trier, of course, though I’ll throw in Mr. Spielberg for War Horse as well.


Who’ll win – A very tough call, this one; if I were to go out on a limb I'd say… Brad Pitt (there's something quite Academy baiting about his role in Moneyball), but I'll play it safe and say George Clooney for The Descendants.
Who should – Though Gary Oldman was clearly the best thing in Tinker Tailor... I loved Jean Dujardin’s performance inThe Artist.
Who shouldn’t – They all deserve a shout, to be fair
Not nominated – Ryan Gosling for Drive is again the most obvious loser here, though I though Leonardo Di Caprio deserved at least a nomination for holding J. Edgar together so well.


Who’ll win – Meryl Streep will almost certainly take this one down (primary competition will be from The Help's Viola Davis), and even though it was in a dog of a film, you can’t really complain about it.
Who should – Probably Streep
Who shouldn’t – A tough call to say any of the nominations don’t deserve to be there - though I suppose it'd be a bit unfair on Noomi Rapace if Rooney Mara won for ...Dragon Tattoo.
Not nominated – Without shadow of doubt, Kirsten Dunst has been criminally overlooked here. Not only should she have been nominated, she should have won. Tilda Swinton also deserved a nod for We Need to Talk about Kevin.

Supporting Actor:

Who’ll win –Christopher Plummer. Beginners was a duff movie, but his performance was excellent.
Who should –I'd love to see Max Von Sydow win an Oscar. I haven't seen his performance here, but if we're playing the Oscar game of rewarding the career, it should really be him or Plummer (or maybe Nolte...)
Who shouldn’t – Again, I feel churlish picking one out - though I have to say I didn't really care for Kenneth Branagh's performance in My Week with Marilyn.
Not nominated –There were so many great supporting turns over the year that it's hard to single any out: Andy Serkis for RotPotA, Corey Stall for Midnight in Paris, Albert Brooks in Drive to name but three. Also, if Hugo deserved a nomination anywhere, it would be here for Sirben Kingsley. 

Supporting Actress:

Who’ll win –Hmmm.... I'll say Jessica Chastain
Who should –Berenice Bejo was superb in The Artist.
Who shouldn’t – I can't pick any of these out, though perhaps Jessica Chastain deserved her nomination for a different film this year
Not nominated – As with Supporting Actor, there are any number of super-duper turns that could've been nominated. Elle Fanning was great in Super 8, Maggie Smith was fab in Harry Potter 7B but perhaps the most glaring omission is Carey Mulligan's performance in Shame. 

Original Screenplay:

Who’ll win – I fancy Woody Allen for this one. A delightful, amusing and relatively ‘safe’ (in Academy terms) script.
Who should – D’you know, I’d quite like to see Margin Call take this.
Who shouldn’t – The structure and plotting of Bridesmaids was actually one of the weaker points in an otherwise good film
Not nominatedSuper 8 was a bit of a let-down overall, but it had some great scriptwriting. However, Win Win is a striking absence also.

Adapted Screenplay:

Who’ll win – Moneyball will get its recognition here, I think.
Who should – Crucially I've seen neither The Ides of March nor Moneyball, so I'll have to go for The Descendants, flawed as it is.
Who shouldn’tTinker Tailor… I’m afraid. A dog’s dinner of a script.
Not nominated – beyond the obvious Drive, I’m gonna put it out there: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows part II was superbly adapted, I thought.

Foreign Language Film

Who’ll win – I think A Separation is probably a safe bet here
Not nominated13 Assassins was one of my favourite films of last year


Who’ll win – I'll back Rango for this
Who should –Definitely Rango, a brilliant animation
Who shouldn’tKung Fu Panda 2 was fine, but not 'Oscar fine'.
Not nominated –I was surprised that Rio didn't get a shout

Art Direction

Who’ll winHugo
Who shouldWar Horse, a beautifully designed film
Who shouldn’t – while Hugo is the duffest film in the category, its art direction was a highlight. Hard to pick one out as undeserving.
Not nominatedMelancholia... am I boring you? Shame, then. Also X-Men:First Class was a surprisingly stylish film.


Who’ll win – I'll go War Horse on this one
Who should –probably War Horse
Who shouldn’t –I've nothing specific against ...Dragon Tattoo as a discrete film, but I'm never that happy about remakes winning awards
Not nominatedMelancholia again, I'm afraid, though I'll also add Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, a great-looking movie.

Sound Mixing

Who’ll win War Horse
Who shouldWar Horse - the booms and crashes of war are splendidly rendered
Who shouldn’tTransformers  nothing against the sound mixing, I just can't bear the thought of 'the Oscar-winning Transformers'.

Sound Editing

Who’ll winHugo
Who should –  Drive. It deserves a statuette for something.
Who shouldn’tTransformers (see Sound Mixing)
Not nominatedWe Need to Talk about Kevin made extraordinary use of sound and is a very disappointing omission

Original Song

Who’ll winMan or Muppet from The Muppets

Original Score

Who’ll win –Despite the poisonous ads taken out by Kim Novak in Variety, The Artist will pick up the win
Who shouldThe Artist
Not nominated Drive - Cliff Martinez's score was excellent. Also Attack the Block, Source Code and Hanna had great soundtracks


Who’ll winThe Artist
Who shouldThe Artist
Who shouldn’tW.E. - see Transformers (above)
Not nominated J.Edgar was packed with fabulous tailoring, as was X Men: First Class.

Documentary Feature

Who’ll win – I have no idea. I'll stick a pin in it and say... Undefeated
Who should Pina
Not nominated Senna, Senna and Senna.

Documentary Short

Who’ll win – Gosh... The Tsunami and the Cherry Blossom

Film Editing

Who’ll win – Another tough call - I'll pick The Artist
Who shouldThe Artist
Not nominatedSenna was a triumph of the editor's art, as was Kevin Macdonald's Life in a Day.

Animated Short Film

Who’ll win – Just for the name, The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr Morris Lessmore

Live-action Short Film

Who’ll win – No idea. How about... Raju?

Visual Effects

Who’ll win Rise of the Planet of the Apes
Who shouldRise of the Planet of the Apes - daft name for a film, but fan-tastic visual effects
Who shouldn’tTransformers again
Not nominated A nomination for Attack the Block would've been welcome


Who’ll winThe Iron Lady
Who shouldThe Iron Lady
Not nominatedJ. Edgar, though you could see the join on Armie Hammer's old-guy makeup, so maybe not.

Phew, there you go. I'll revisit these post-ceremony to check their accuracy!